KULTURE KIOSK

Newport: Jigsaw Falling into Place

Posted by in Culture, Travel

SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOUR DRAB HOMETOWN *this blog contains an affiliate link. It is not often I get to blog about the hometown (technically speaking somewhere between the M4 and Caerleon), so rare in fact it’s never been done, so here goes… It’s fair to say that Newport doesn’t exactly conjure up positive imagery; even Lonely Planet has previously referred to it as ‘a bit of a dump’. A faceless grey town on the banks of a muddy brown river with an equally bland name (it sounds better in…read more

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Cardiff: A Different Man

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links CROESO – A 2022 UPDATE Hi or Shw mae (‘sure-my’) as we say in Wales. This piece was originally written in 2018 in what was in travel terms, a completely different world. I had returned from many years living in China and extensive travel in Europe. In 2022 Cardiff again beckoned still in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic although this now has become almost as tired as some of Cardiff’s signs and buildings, more on that below. If you’re moving to the capital you’d…read more

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Malta: Noughts and Crosses

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER Malta on a map is a mere speck, surrounded by the beautiful or hazardous blue (depending on your circumstance) of the Mediterranean sea. The day I land its airspace is being smothered by a storm! This makes Air Malta’s A320neo a flying roller coaster as we are batted around from side to side and up and down through air currents, air pockets and god knows what else.  Breaking the cloud seems to take forever and when we do the Med seen…read more

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Year Amid Winter 10

Posted by in Publishing

YEAR AMID WINTER celebrates its 10th birthday this month. For those that don’t know (which is most of you) the book was originally released as a series of e-blogs in 2012 and got a release as a PDF ebook in 2015. It has since been released in the EPUB format. ABOUT THE BOOK (from the original press release) The book comprises three parts: OXFORD (living in a recession), AUCKLAND (becoming a TESOL teacher) and ISTANBUL (learning the hard truths of teaching in a foreign country) and charts Hayes departure from the UK…read more

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ICEHOUSE: Crossing Borders

Posted by in Culture, Music

INTRO You don’t care about how a band is formed, how it starts, you just hear the music. You don’t know how long a band has been around for before you hear the music, how hard they’ve worked to get an audience and a record deal. You can however hear their influences and in Iva Davies initially with Flowers and thence ICEHOUSE these are ringing loud and clear; sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. FORMING FLOWERS AND EXTERIOR INFLUENCES The role and power of influence can be difficult…read more

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Paris: Memoir from the Past

Posted by in Culture, Travel

*this blog contains affiliate links INTRO Paris is always a good idea – Audrey Hepburn You can’t really have a travel or culture blog and not feature Paris can you? And if I know anything about travel writing, it is this… I could blog about Cardiff and Shenzhen with all my heart – and as regular readers know I love those cities – but I also know Paris will easily eclipse them in terms of visitors numbers. A-list cities are like rock stars. You can write about them until you’re…read more

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Manila: Transport – More Fun in the Philippines?

Posted by in Transport, Travel

This piece was originally written in 2013 at a time when the Philippines was being battered by a storm from the Pacific. Fortunately this did not affect the capital where I was, but Manila also needed a lot of work. Let’s start at the beginning and a big thanks to my friend and journalist in the Philippines George Buid for the updates. *this blog contains an affiliate link. ARRIVAL The Philippines are in the midst of a tourist drive. With their colourful and quirky ‘more fun in the Philippines’ campaign and slogan…read more

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Fade In, Fade Out: Top 10 Producers

Posted by in Culture

INTRO AND HON MENTIONS Well I’ve done it, I’ve managed to compile a list of my favourite producers but it was not without deliberation, trial and error. I mean how does one compile this, is it quantity of fave artists covered or the less is more clarity over quantity. As always I struck some sort of a balance. Still love them all and without further ado here’s the list of those whose ideas and ear worms still inhabit my cranium and colour my world to this day. First the Honourable…read more

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1991: The End of an Era

Posted by in Culture, Music

JANUARY: KISSING THE ETHER Everyone has a golden era of music. One that symbolises youth, their teenage years and perhaps  early adulthood. An age of discovery before life finally consumes us all and we stare at the TV screens only to sigh, and say Who the fuck are they? Where did they come from? And things were much better in my generation. My golden era was most likely 1981-1991 and it’s hard to believe it was 30 years ago. SEAL then a newbie is now a veteran of the business….read more

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Birmingham: Out of the Blue

Posted by in Culture, Travel

INTRO Quick note here, this is one of the hardest blogs I’ve done but as one of the biggest cities in the UK you can’t leave Birmingham out of the equation. It’s a pity that during my time there, like Manchester, several key places to visit were closed. PEN MUSEUM – CLOSED CHINA EXPRESSION GALLERY – CLOSED ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM – CLOSED until 2022! Not only that but I spend several visits trying to locate the city’s iconic Selfridges building only to find the mottled pink, and black blob…read more

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